I just wanted to share some quotes from a book I reading titled "The Native Americans, An Illustrated History", written by many and published by TurnerPublishingInc of Atlanta.
On the inside flap of the cover is the following text:
"Depossessed of their ancestral homelands by successive invasions of Europeans, the first real Americans have long been cloaked in a veil of myth and legend that has hidden from us the true richness and diversity of Indian civilizations and cultures. This newly unfolding legacy represents an unparalleled body of untapped wisdom, which even now provides fresh perspectives on very modern problems. The astonishing reality of Indian history, presented here for the first time from the perspective of native Americans, will deepen our understanding of what it really means to be an American.
The archaeological history of the native peoples of the Americas goes back more than 30,000 years. By the time Columbus landed in this "New" World, it was a very old world that already had seen entire civilizations rise and fall through the centuries. These linked continents were by then populated by some 75,000,000 people who spoke 2,000 distinct languages and had developed a rich diversity of separate cultures, all joined in trade by a venerable network that covered the entire northern continent."
The opening quote chosen to go with a picture for Part One is by Chief Weninock of the Yakima in 1915:
"When we were created we were given our ground to live on and from this time these were our rights. This is all true. We were put here by the Creator - I was not brought from a foreign country and did come here. I was put here by the Creator."
The final quote I wanted to share with you that is in this book is from a text titled My American Indian Ancestors by N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa) recopied from it's original publishing in a book called America in 1492. Text follows:
"I am an American Indian, and I believe that I can therefore speak to the question of America before Columbus with a certain advantage of ancestral experience, a cultural continuity that reaches far back in time. My forebears have been in North America for many thousands of years. In my blood I have a real sense of that occupation. It is worth something to me, as indeed that long, unbroken tenure is worth something to every native American. When man set foot on the continent of north America he was surely an endangered species. His resources were few, as we think of them from our vantage point in the twentieth century. He was almost wholly at the mercy of the elements, and the world he inhabited was hard and unforgiving. The simple accomplishments of survival must have demanded all his strength. But he had certain indispensable resources. He knew how to hunt. He possessed tools and weapons, however crude. He could make fire. He probably had dogs and travois, perhaps sleds. He had some sense of society, of community, of cooperation. And, alone among the creatures of the earth, he could think and speak. He had a human sense of morality, an irresistable craving for order, beauty, appropriate behavior. He was intensely spiritual."
Interesting facts huh? I've found it personally fulfilling to understand as completely as possible the vast history of the First Peoples. To this end I have studied quite a bit of these types of books. I've found it enlightening to know some of the history. Like just outside of town here there's a marker for a Historical Site - a Mammoth Kill site that's been dated back to 14,000 B.C. To think that civilized people were 2 miles from where my bed lies that long ago and what their daily lives must have been like is eyeopening. There's thousands of such places all over this country. It's very spiritually enhancing to think positively and open-mindedly of these people and how they lived and worshipped. I'm glad they still have representatives left on this earth to tell us the stories and lifestyles of their forebears. It's obviously a harmonious lifestyle, one that if it were to make a comeback would help humankind survive itself.
Thoughts to ponder my friends.